Porto progressed from a pulsating Champions League match on away goals as their thrilling tie with Juventus ended 4-4 on aggregate in Turin.
A topsy-turvy match saw a heap of chances at both ends, a red card shown to Porto's Mehdi Taremi, and five goals scored in total; but it was a brace from the excellent Sergio Oliveira that proved decisive.
The visitors went into the game 2-1 up from the first leg, and it was they who edged an end-to-end opening to the game as chances came at both ends right from the first whistle. And Sérgio Conceição's side took the lead from the penalty spot after 19 minutes, with Oliveira sending Wojciech Szczesny the wrong way after Taremi had been fouled in the box.
Porto came out after the break looking to continue what had been a defensively solid display and hold on to their two-goal advantage, but the tie was all square inside 20 minutes of the restart as a brace from Federico Chiesa brought Juventus back to 3-3 on aggregate. And to make matters worse for the visitors, two yellow cards in the space of two minutes for Taremi left them down to ten men with over half an hour still remaining on the clock.
It was a stunning turnaround and left the tie hanging in the balance, but that wasn't the end of the drama. Neither side was able to settle it in normal time, sending the game to an additional half an hour. And again it was Juventus who enjoyed the lion's share of possession in the extra period, testing a strong Porto defence to its very limit.
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However, just as it looked like the game was heading to a penalty shootout, up stepped Oliveira to drill home a long-range free-kick that seemed to have won it with time running out. Even then there was time for a late twist, as a towering header from Adrien Rabiot set up a barnstorming finish, but the ten men of Porto clung on to seal a remarkable result in Turin.
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Cristiano Ronaldo set up the first goal of the night for Chiesa, but despite flashes of brilliance he struggled to have a significant influence on the game.
When Porto went down to ten men it felt like the space should have been there for Ronaldo to exploit, but it just wasn’t his night. Whether that was a one-off or an indication of his powers being diminished is a discussion for another day, but there is a chance that one of the game’s greatest ever players could have just lost his final realistic chance to win another Champions League.
Then again, this is Ronaldo, so he could come back even stronger next season.
Pepe shakes hands with Cristiano Ronaldo
Image credit: Getty Images
Man of the Match – Pepe (FC Porto)
The Porto skipper was an inspirational presence at the heart of defence all evening, keeping calm and composed while still putting his body on the line when needed.
The level of defending was almost Schoolboys Own stuff at times, heroic yet performed at an exceptionally high level.
It is of great credit to the former Real Madrid man that he largely shut Ronaldo out of the game for much of the evening, and few defenders manage that.
Juventus: Szczęsny 5; Cuadrado 8, Bonucci 6, Demiral 6, Alex Sandro 6; Arthur 7, Rabiot 7; Chiesa 9, Ramsey 5; Morata 5, Ronaldo 5. Subs: De Ligt 6, McKennie 5, Bernardeschi 5, Kulusevski 6.
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17’ – Taremi goes down in the box and it’s a penalty to Porto! That looks reasonably soft, but it probably is a foul and VAR agrees with referee Bjorn Kuipers.
19’ GOAL! – Oliveira sends Szczesny the wrong way from the spot and Porto go 1-0 up on the night and 3-1 up on aggregate. That’s a huge goal!
49’ GOAL! – Juventus have one back and it’s Chiesa who’s got it, curled into the far top corner after a good run and lay-off by Ronaldo. 1-1!
54’ RED CARD! – It’s a second yellow for Taremi in a matter of moments and Porto are down to ten men. The forward kicked the ball away and it probably was a yellow by the book, but it’s a gut-punch for Porto.
59’ – Off the post! Should be two for Juve as Chiesa goes clean through but is put off by Pepe with the goal gaping and the ball comes back off the post. What a chance!
63’ GOAL! – It’s Chiesa again and Juventus are level. The 23-year-old makes no mistake as the ball drops to him in the box, bagging his third of the tie to make it 3-3 on aggregate against ten-man Porto.
93’ – Cuadrado weaves into the box from the right and crashes a stunner of a shot that hammers off the bar and bounces away to safety. What a hit!
115’ GOAL! – The free-kick was miles out, but Oliveira struck it low and with great power, sending it under the shambles of a Juventus wall, through the legs of Ronaldo. Szczesny still should have saved it, but couldn’t quite get a strong enough hand to it and the ball snuck in off the post. 2-2 on the night and are Porto going through?! It sure looks like it!
117’ GOAL! – What on earth is going on! Rabiot dispatches a brilliant header from a corner and it’s 4-4 on aggregate with Juventus needing a goal to progress. Porto, as it stands, are going through on away goals.
Stats and Facts
Chiesa became the first Italian to score two or more goals in a Champions League knockout game since Filippo Inzaghi in April 1999.
Porto progress from a Champions League tie after winning the first leg for the first time since the 2004 quarter-final against Lyon.
Pepe made eight clearances in the match, the most of any player in the match. All were in his own box. He also won 100% of his aerial challenges in the 120 minutes.